When practicing yoga, we all know that the four-column support is a particularly important asana for the upper and lower dog poses in series. But many practitioners have found that four-post support is difficult to do well. Today, let’s take a look at the right position tips in four-post support! 4 yoga posture the shoulders can find the right position and lightness!
1. Where do these cues for correct alignment in a four-post brace come from?
Why is alignment important? Because the four-poster is a yoga pose that is prone to injury. So, is there a “correct” alignment that solves these problems? Specifically, we need stability around the shoulder straps. We need core stability throughout our body to maintain posture integrity and avoid injury.
Where does the stability of the four-column support come from?
There are many muscles that must be stabilized in a pose like the four-poster. In and around the shoulder girdle, the serratus anterior is working to stabilize the shoulder blade into the ribcage. We have some activity in the chest from the pectoralis major. Also, the triceps work on the back of our arms. Also, the rotator cuff muscles are working to dynamically stabilize the shoulder joint itself.
Common Orientation Tips in Four-Column Bracing
Today we break down some common tips that come up in four-column bracing
Elbow 90 degrees: Keeping your elbows at a 90-degree angle or aligning your elbows with your wrists will generally bring your shoulders further forward, which most people can hold without straining their shoulders. It just puts too much upper body weight on one side of the center of gravity (in front of the forearm line). This is beyond the reach of most practitioners’ shoulders, hands and wrists. It also puts the wrist at a smaller angle, increasing potential stress on the wrist.
Elbow Clamp: Another tip I hear a lot is that your elbows should always be tucked in at your sides. For most people, this is a good method. But not necessarily immediately. People who practice four-post bracing come at different levels of experience. Some students who are just starting out may have good strength in the pectoralis major. But they may not have developed the strength of the triceps to reduce eccentric contractions while adducting the elbows. You can do this pose with your elbows slightly out to use some of your pectoral strength.
Specifically, as I said, you’re working on strengthening the relationship with the serratus anterior to stabilize the scapula. If you practice too many quads and rely solely on the rotator cuff muscles to hold your shoulders in a weight-bearing position like quads, it may not work out well in the long run.
Rather than looking for a single “correct” alignment in a four-post brace, consider modifying the exercise to choose the best method for the exercise in progress. Like lowering your knees to take the weight off your shoulders. It is also possible to lower slightly when transitioning from 4-post to up dog instead of lowering all the way. If you take the time to find a four-post variant that fits your body, and slowly increase your reps, you’ll likely develop a better relationship with the four-post in the long run.
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